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Rebels kidnap 100 civilians in DR Congo: UN

Suspected Ugandan rebels have kidnapped about 100 people during an attack in the troubled northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN says.

Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Amouzou Codjo, spokesman for the UN Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), told a press briefing on Wednesday that members of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abducted the civilians during an assault on two villages during the attack in Bas-Uele province on June 4.

He said rebels also went on a looting spree across the volatile region. "These attackers also kidnapped nearly a hundred people to carry the loot," Codjo told a press conference in the capital, Kinshasa.

The spokesman also strongly denounced the regular atrocities committed by the ruthless LRA against civilians in the northeast of the African country.

Formed in 1986, the LRA is engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government in what is now one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts that has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and displaced another two million.

The LRA roams between Uganda, Sudan, the DR Congo and the Central African Republic. Led by Joseph Kony, the rebel group is accused of widespread human rights violations including murder, abduction, mutilation, and the sexual enslavement of women and children.

Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudanese troops have set up a joint force to hunt the rebels in the dense forest area bordering the three countries.

The International Criminal Court has also issued arrest warrants for Kony and other top leaders of the LRA on charges of war crimes and anti-human crimes. Kony remains elusive after a decade-long manhunt.

According to the UN, the LRA has killed more than 100,000 people and kidnapped more than 60,000 children, forcing many of them to become child soldiers.


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